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Post in Besides Beauty

Snooty Sales People

So I just got back from Sephora (there are 3 within an hour-ish drive from me) & I gotta say this experience was not a good one!

I don't make it out to this Sephora too often and I was in the area. I had hiked with a few friends & since we were close by I talked them into stopping in. Yes we had hiking attire on (brand new I might add), but none of us were the least bit in need of a shower.

It was around 1:30-2pm and the store was not busy @ all. When we walked in there were 3 associates chatting away with each-other. They stopped talking when they saw us, proceeded to look us up and down & went back to talking. Not a single one said hello or even acknowledged me & my group. I headed towards the skincare section & was quite literately stalked by one of the associates. She never asked if I needed help, she just hovered in the section behind us.....and then moved as we moved.....still hovering right behind us! It made me & my group very uncomfortable!! I ended up leaving empty handed (tho I had a few things on my list). It was a bit disheartening Smiley Sad  I've shopped there several times before and the sales associates were wonderful (none of them were there today that I could see). I'm almost certain it was because we were dressed "outdoorsy" & they probably didn't think we were going to buy anything.

Idk maybe I'm overreacting, but I really can't see myself going back to this particular location again, which sucks because it's the closest full size Sephora.

Have any of you guys been treated (or should I say, ignored) like this? How did you handle it???

Re: Snooty Sales People

That surprises me as the sales associates at my local Sephora have been nothing but nice and considerate to me. They are always willing to chat about products and answer questions. Sometimes if it's very busy it might take a while to get one's attention but that's understandable. 


The online support has also been very good to me.

Re: Snooty Sales People

Sorry you had a bad experience it's hard not to let those kind of people get to you  I just don't give them the satisfaction of what they are trying to do I just laugh it off.

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I have had tons of bad experiences in the newest Sephora close to me...  The very first time I went, they were newly opened, and overwhelmingly helpful.. they even gave my husband a free sample for 'enduring the trip'.... all the other times, I have been treated very poorly.  From information from this forum, I wanted to investigate new foundations, primers, eyeshadows, etc.  The first sales associate asked if I needed help, then directed me to a different one to help me with the foundation... when we were walking around finding foundations, I told her that I didn't want a dewey finish, she actually snapped at me that she has asked me that quesion... seriously?!  I accepted my free samples of MUFE, and left.

Other times, I have been made to feel that I was in the way when the SA were helping others, and when I specificall went in to check out the Lorac Pro Palette, I was told that they didn't carry Lorac.... I really wanted to play with it, so I asked if the closer location carried it... needless to say, I wasn't helped.

Neither time was I dressed poorly, and all the makeup I had on was from Sephora.... it shouldn't matter how we look... we should receive great service, or at least treated like a human being, even if we're wearing overalls covered in dog hair.

I'm still so upset, I haven't purchased anything from Sephora since.

Re: Snooty Sales People

I was at sephora yesterday, and had the coldest conversation with a lady stationed by the fragrances. I would ask a question, and she would interrupt me or act like I didn't know what I was talking about. I always find it strange when people don't smile back when I smile at them, so it was just all around a bad experience. Most experiences there are great though.

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I have to agree with you on this, i am new to Sephora and everytime i am in there i get the worst workers looking down on you just because i wear sweats and no makeup does not mean anything. They dont say hi, no recommendations no samples nothing. I didn't even get my beauty insider points from Saturday. I told the cashier my email and nothing went thru. I am really disappointed with the services i have recevived at this 2 locations i have been too. I have spent about $175 in 2 trips i have made there however i don't think i will be returning anytime soon.

Re: Snooty Sales People

I agree. I avoid shopping in this store because I do not want to deal with it people staring at me if I am wearing sweats and no makeup. It's just annoying. I don't wear makeup everyday because it takes so much time and when I go in there I would like to see some people who work there with less than a painted face in that I don't have time nor do I want to douse myself with makeup everyday. I like to embelish my features not paint by number my face and they always look like they are going to a photoshoot rather than an everyday look.

Re: Snooty Sales People

I agree about the being dressed up. I like to be comfortable shopping, especially if I'm going to other stores where I'll try on clothes, but I have to wear a "nice" t-shirt.

I do have a problem every once in awhile at Sephora because I go in without any makeup on. I like to be a fresh palette to play around, but I think some see that I'm rocking the au naturale look and think I won't buy anything. Once I get someone's attention by melodramatic confusion, the first thing they ask is "Do you normally wear X?" as if they expect me to say no. I explain myself, and then they are more than willing to help.

I understand that a little bit of type-casting is necessary when the store is busy, but there needs to be a balance. My favorite associates are the ones that just poke by and say "My name is --- if you need any help." Doesn't sound that hard!

Re: Snooty Sales People

I've been to a dozen+ Sephoras across the country (and abroad) and it's a little different in each location. I've been to some where they won't even give you a second look -- usually in the bigger cities where they might be more crowded...that's been my experience at the Sephoras in San Francisco, NYC and DC. Other Sephoras where all they do is look at you (with distrust and suspicion) --happened once at a DC location, and then there's definitely a few where they're absolutely wonderful -- had that experience in Sacramento, St. Louis and Barcelona.


***I want to add here that I don't do Sephora pilgrimages around the world or anything, I a lot, and can't stop myself when I pass by a Sephora. Smiley Wink

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That is the absolute worst, i always bring my boyfriend with me because he's the one who see's the makeup on me, so i love asking his opinion , and the associates  stalk us waiting to see if they catch us stealing, i've even seen a manager like flag down an associate and like wave them towards me and my boyfriend. its upsetting because without makeup i can look whatever, but when i'm done up and wearing something nice the associates completly treat me a different way. 


it makes me feel like i look too "low class" for them, or like they don't care about my buisness.


need less to say i still shop here lol but now i do most of my shopping online Smiley Sad

Re: Snooty Sales People

I hate hearing stories like these Smiley Sad  Hasn't anyone ever heard of customer service? I mean really, regardless if you buy anything that trip or not, it is the responsibility of the employee to give you their full attention  and to help you the best way that they can. That's what creates customers for life. If I go into a store and receive awesome service from someone, I'm going to go back and shop there from now on. Thats how it works. If you can make someone comfortable, they are not going to want to go anywhere else. Thinking that someone is not going to buy something is never an excuse to treat them poorly. As a lot of you already said on here, people come from all walks of life and you never know where they may be coming from. Just because they look sporty or too young or too old doesn't mean anything. We all like to feel beautiful, and if we don't like makeup, there is always skin care and bath stuff that Sephora sells.

On a good note, my Sephora near me is great! I shop in the Alderwood Mall Sephora in Lynnwood, WA and all the employees there are awesome. I like to shop online because of the extra code that I get to use (sometimes I get things in store) but I like to go to the store to swatch for colors or get samples to make sure I like before I buy. They never have a problem with it. And why would/should they. There is a guy there who was making samples of cologne for my husband and we were talking, and he started to recommend things that I would like and made extra samples for me Smiley Happy  That is good customer service. Everyone should feel welcome wherever they shop.


Re: Snooty Sales People

Even before I read about how customers were treated at some Sephora stores, I was pretty intimidated. When I was quite young, I just remember very being intimidated by the saleswomen behind the cosmetics counters at department stores (back then they were uber snooty).


I once dared to venture into the Sephora located in Downtown San Francisco to see what the fuss was all about. I was not dressed up (it seems that you *have* to be in order to visible to the Sephora employees).


A male employee was in my way, and I said "Excuse me". His reaction? Not a "sorry", not an "excuse me", but an "EXCUSE YOU". Loudly, I might add. I was like, WHAT. THE. H*LL??


To say that I was royally ticked off doesn't even being to describe it. I wasn't about to let him get away with treating me, or anybody else, like that.


I asked a female employee for the store manager, but she said that the manager was in the back. Since it was very busy, I told her how the rude boy (I pointed him out to her)  treated me and told her to tell her manager.


I don't know if she ever did, but *nobody* puts Baby in a corner.


After that experience, I do all my Sephora shopping online, and never looked back.


By the way, the employees at the Emeryville store were much more approachable (and quite nice, i might add). I mentioned to a female employee there about my San Francisco Sephora experience and she said that she heard stories like that (where customers in the San Francisco store were mistreated or maltreated). I told her that I was glad that the Emeryville team members were nice. She gave me a knowing smile.



Re: Snooty Sales People

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience today. I actually stopped by a Sephora store today (I have two favorite free standing Sephora's) and every SA is always so friendly. I dont know if it's the area, but where I used to live the Sephora SA there were never as friendly as the current locations I go to. It's makes my shopping experience much better when they talk to me and act like they truly care about customers. I spoke to a SA in particular today asking her about a certain nail polish and in the middle she randomly commented how nice my eyebrows were and asked what I used. I was so flattered since I tried a new technique for the first time and really loved it Smiley Happy So it's nice someone else noticed too haha


Hope your next stop to a Sephora store will be better!

Re: Snooty Sales People

People do judge based on your clothing, even when shopping, unfortunately. I was wearing typical college nerd outfit (sneakers+loose tshirt+jeans) once when I stepped into a Burberry store (ha!), the lady walked/stood right in front of me as I was about to enter and asked "can I help you?", then lost interest when I told her I was looking around, went back to chatting with her coworkers and ignored me prob cuz I don't look like the stealing or buying type.


I just ignore such actions, but you can try to use it to your advantage. Sometimes when I know that.....I need a bit of accomodation, I would dress up especially for shopping. I was able to return an untouched item past its 3 month purchasing date at Sephora, get 2 of the same 100pt perks in a Sephora where the lady gives me disapproving glance before and say we could only get 1 of the same perk. And unintentionally, got free guacamole in my burritos (a free pretzel and free popcorn, but those were cuz it's end of their shift and they couldn't wait to get out of there, so when I asked how much, they just said "keep it" as they were taking off their apron, lol). And just generally more willingness to cooperate without being pushy. Altho the funny/harmless downside is when you dress up like that, some people also assume that you can afford a $5k purse or rave about the limited collection $100 coin purse and expect you to be excited too, lol.


I mean, you don't want people to judge you by first impression, but I understand that sales people have to deal with a variety of customers and sometimes a bad experience they have can ruin/spoil the mood they have toward others. As long as I didn't do anything wrong, I ignore it. It happens, and I just remind myself that I get good experience sometimes too and move on.

Re: Snooty Sales People

Lol.  The same thing used to happen to me all the time, honey.  In every store I went into, but ESPECIALLY in the Sephora that I already had to drive an hour (plus) to get to.  I don't blame them.  I really looked awful.  Yet, I looked awful because I was sick, and really could have used a little help from one of the girls at the counters in that Sephora...if they'd just stopped staring and talking about me to each other for long enough to even say hello to me.  And, just like you, the only attention I did get was to be followed around like that was in fact their job...not to sell me things.  Hint to salespeople out there: a girl can have a bad day and need to buy some pampering in a bottle, a good one and need to buy some items to primp before a really important date because she CHOSE to go toobing with her best girlfriends all day first, sometimes she needs to find anything she can that might put a little color on her, some contour to her face, a little life behind her eyes, etc... because the treatments she's on are what's making her look so darn skinny and tired, and those are just a few of the times you're supposed to be at your prime...that is what you

are there for and ways you could really be everyday heroes...all you shop girls and boys out there.  The last time I went outside anywhere, let alone shopping (until last week actually) was over a year ago...and aside the being followed around at every store and gawked at...when my fiancé and I heard one of the counter girls say: "Girl needs to eat a cheeseburger, or ten!  Anorexic much!?" and start giggling with her co-workers, I just burst out crying and ran, as my fiancé started reaming them over all of the tests and procedures I'd had as of late.  I never had the heart to go shopping out again.  Barely even for groceries.  Being judged isn't fun. It'll make you feel pretty small.  Beyond small, actually, and I know it.  I am sorry you had to deal with this. 

Re: Snooty Sales People

Aww, that's terrible. You sounds like you need a hug. *huuuuug*


I'm 5'9 and pretty chubby last time I went back to China, people would look me up and down once then say "we don't have things your size" right after I walked in, even before I had a chance to look around. Or any time I get something, they would always push me toward black or a darker color cuz I look thinner.


I do find it kind of ironic how, while makeup is meant to enhance people's appearance, most counters seem to target well made up people rather than the people who needs and maybe wants it. =/

Re: Snooty Sales People

So true about the makeup counter ladies! I'm not quite sure what it is about working in a department store that makes some people think they are above everyone else... 


I remember falling in love with some MUFE eye shadows long before Sephora came to Canada and being too intimidated to do more than ask how much they were for aaaages. When I finally did get brave enough to go up to the little corner of the Shiseido counter where they were sold the lady was every bit as awful as I feared! Smiley Sad So rude, honestly. I know it was only like a $50 purchase but $16 an eye shadow isn't nothing to a 15 year old making $5.90-$7.00 an hour, lady!

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I've had bad experiences for EVERY time that I go to any sephora. Just because I am a teen and sometimes go in with a group of friends and try out some products first, they always ignore us and give us an annoyed look because they assume we are just there to try things and not buy. But we always buy a fair amount of things and AFTER we pay they act nicer and theennn give us a smile. 

Re: Snooty Sales People

You can try grab a basket and put a few items you might want to buy in there first, then go and try out the products. Smiley Wink

Re: Snooty Sales People

I'm sorry to hear about your store experience, Buzzbee3.  I'll send you a message to help you out.  -Laura

Re: Snooty Sales People

Wow, that was absolutely uncalled for. Glad you didn't buy anything! Don't blame you! Definitely, find out the store number and let one of the mods know or I would call up the store directly and speak to a manager. Every customer that comes in deserves the same fair treatment no matter how they look or are dressed. I know how it feels to be looked at or treated differently, I am in a wheelchair. Sometimes I have to go up and ask for service as no one wants to help me and this happened at Sephora as well as other stores as well. I work in a store myself and sometimes customers will tell me that don't need anything and go to another associate for help. I am very sorry you had this experience! 

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